Monday, June 18, 2007

Mistake University - An Education Like No Other

This was a timed writing. The prompt was: "Write an essay of explanation (300 - 500 words)in which you explain to the reader your academic plans for the next two or three years. Be sure to include in your explanation not only your goals during this time, but the means or strategies you have of achieving those goals. Write your essay to an audience of prospective students who may benefit from your planning and motivation for achieving higher education."

I wanted to take it a different direction, but, because this was a school assignment, had to answer the prompt. So, here it is. I was given 4 hours to complete this; I did it in 2:39. I scored 92/100



When it comes to getting a college education, perhaps someone can learn more from my mistakes than from the things I've actually done right. I know many other twenty- and thirty-somethings, in my situation: Blessed with an aptitude for computers and technology, and thus have been able to build a fairly successful ten-year career without the aid of a post-secondary education. Until now.


Recently I've found that my career--and income potential--is limited from real advancement. What's holding me back? That rite of passage into the "professional" world: the Degree. Oh, sure, I can keep doing what I'm doing, and maybe, if I'm lucky, get a raise here and there, but more than likely, my value to employers will actually decrease as I age. I've finally figured out that in order for me to get ahead, I need to get an education.

At this point, I've only planned as far as obtaining an Associates of Science degree by the end of next year. I started taking online classes through the community college last fall, and I plan on continuing that pattern until I finish my A.S. A full load of twelve units per semester (four classes) is too big of a burden for this working student, but nine units is doable. With the few classes I've taken at other institutions included as transfer credits, I should easily be able to obtain my two-year degree early next year.

My long term educational "goals" can hardly be called goals--they've always been more like dreams. I have had the notion for many years that I would become a robotics engineer. To that end, I plan on getting a Bachelor's Degree in Electronic or Computer Engineering--or both. Also, because of my recent work as a technical instructor--truly the best and most enjoyable job I've ever had--I now want to get a Teaching Certificate as well. To advance in either field, robotics or education, I will need to earn at least a Bachelor's degree, and will probably also need to do some post-graduate work. I haven't yet figured out any details as to which university I will attend to attain such a degree--the "figuring-out" will probably come later this year. The B.S. will likely take me at least another two years to complete.

I wish that I had done all this long before now. It would have been easier to get a degree when I was younger, before I made too much money to qualify for grants, before I had a family, and before I had to worry about being a responsible adult. But, I can't turn back the clock. I've learned from my mistakes and I'm working now toward an education.

2 comments:

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